This traditional Tuscan soup can be enjoyed any time of year but is best with ultra-fresh tomatoes. Play off the ripe tomato acidity with Louis M. Martini’s lush and vibrant Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon.
- 3 pounds very ripe red tomatoes (cored and cut into large chunks)
- 3 cups chopped yellow onion
- 5 tablespoons chopped fresh garlic
- 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- 3 quarts old crusty bread cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1⁄2 cup red wine
- 1 cup whole basil leaves
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
- 1 teaspoon crushed red chili flakes (optional)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 8-10 basil leaves torn into rustic pieces
- 2 cups small cubed crusty bread
- 2 cups diced fresh tomatoes
- Olive oil to taste
- Heat a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and butter, then stir until all the butter is melted and begins to foam.
- Add the onions, oregano, basil, and chili flakes and cook for 5-6 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes more, stirring and taking care not to allow the garlic to brown.
- Add the bread cubes and continue to cook and stir for 5-6 minutes to allow the bread to absorb some of the pan liquids. Add the tomatoes and red wine and season aggressively with salt and black pepper.
- Bring to a simmer and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook, stirring often, for 45 minutes until all the tomatoes have broken down and the soup begins to thicken.
- Puree in a blender or pass through a food mill fitted with a fine sieve.
- Ladle the soup into warm bowls and equally divide the garnish on top of each bowl.
- Drizzle each with olive oil.